It is not often that a headline in The New York Times is used to report the death of an artwork, but this is the strange fate that awaited the Tissue Culture and Art Project’s Victimless Leather during its exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, in May 2008 [see Figure 4.1]. Victimless Leather, a tiny tissue-engineered coat exhibited in an enclosed incubator, is a bio-sculpture: a living organism grown onto a polymer structure that has been cut into the desired shape (in this case, that of a tiny coat), and then seeded with mouse fibroblast cells. The tissue is cultivated in sterile conditions, and the resulting piece exhibited in an incubator, so that it can continue to be nourished with antibiotics, serum and media that enable the cells to attach themselves to the porous polymer and grow around it. During its New York MOMA exhibition, however, this process went awry: the tissue began to grow so fast that the incubator could no longer function properly. The cells outgrew their polymer structure; one of the arms was falling off. The coat was not decomposing; on the contrary, it was proliferating too rapidly for its environment. The New York Times’s headline announced its untimely demise with patent relish: ‘Museum Kills Live Exhibit’. Initially, the newspaper reports, Victimless Leather had been ‘unsettling alive. Until recently, that is. Paola Antonelli, a senior curator at the museum, had to kill the coat’ (Schwartz). After the incubator had been turned off, Oron Catts, one of the two artists responsible for the piece, declared himself pleased with this turn of events, cheered the ‘slightly Frankensteinian sensibility of “life growing out of control”’ (Schwartz).